I'm having trouble understanding how to apply the ko rule. For instance, in the description in Wikipedia, there is an example where the ko rule can potentially apply. But suppose there were two, or three, or four such scenarios on the board. Does one really have to keep track of all the past states of the board? Would you just keep going round-and-round, and whoever created the last original board configuration wins those points?
Ko only prevents a player from making a move that would have the effect of returning the board to the position that it was in just before his opponent's last move only. So the only thing you ever need to keep track of is what the board was like just before your opponent made his last move; you cannot move such that it would recreate that position.
All the further description in the wiki is explaining what a player will do if the move they want to make it prevented by ko. They make a move somewhere else on the board that forces black to respond to it; thus freeing them to make the play that they couldn't have played the previous turn due to ko.
You need something like three kos to do this.
But let's say that there are two players, X and Y. Player X takes the first ko. Player Y takes a second ko as a "ko threat." Player X takes a third ko in response. Player Y re-takes the first ko. Etc.
The ko rule serves to prevent repetition between one or two kos. But if there are enough kos so that you can take them in a "round robin," then the game could go on endlessly.